Clarification of Statement on Homosexuality
"Desire Cannot Be the Foundation for the Law"
| 1986 hits
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Various interpretations have been made regarding the reference Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, made in his words at the opening of the Theological-Pastoral Congress of Mexico. The cardinal wanted to underline three important aspects:
1. Homosexuality is not a necessary component of society, as is the family. Society is organized around the relationship of the couple that is formed by a man and a woman. They find each other in conjugal life and in family life. In this sense, the couple and the family enter into the sphere of social life, and because of this, of civil law. The relationship between two persons of the same sex is not the same as the relationship of a couple that is based on the sexual difference. These two situations depend on structures that are not of the same nature. The homosexual relationship does not enter into this social sphere. It is, as such, a private question. Legislators make an anthropological error when they want to socially organize homosexuality. They run the risk of provoking an intellectual confusion, as well as confusion of identity and relationships. It should not be forgotten that confusion frequently favors insecurity, unstable relationships and violence, when legislators don't respect the fundamental sense of human relationships. The family is a common good of humanity that is not at the free disposition of legislators to respond to the subjective and problematic demands of today. The individual desire cannot be the foundation for the law. Here we find ourselves in the presence of a confusion between the law, which is of the public domain, and the desire, which is subjective.
2. Affirming that homosexuality is a private fact, the president of the Pontifical Council of the Family is not justifying it. The cardinal simply underlined that homosexuality does not contribute favorably to the organization of individuals and of society. The exercise of homosexuality does not reflect the truth of friendship. Friendship is inherent to the human condition in that it offers relationships of proximity, help and cooperation, in a courteous and amiable climate. Friendship should be lived chastely.
3. The Church maintains its preoccupation of welcoming and accompanying homosexual persons. Every person that has difficulties to live their sexuality properly is called to find Christ and to live, consequently, in accord with the demands of liberty and responsibility of faith, hope and charity. On the other hand, it is contrary to the truth of the human identity and the design of God to live a homosexual experience, a relationship of this type, and even more to attempt to demand same-sex marriage. It is contrary to the true interests of the persons and of the needs of society. It constitutes a transgression of the sense of love as God has revealed to us through the message of Christ, of which the Church is a servant, as an expression of love toward the men and women of our time.
[Translation by ZENIT]